Anil Kumble, a former captain of India, said on ESPNcricinfo’s T20 Time Out show that Pakistan “definitely out-bowled New Zealand, they out-batted New Zealand, but most importantly, they out-fielded New Zealand, which is very, very rare.”
Tom Moody, a former all-rounder for Australia, picked up a specific moment during New Zealand’s powerplay that was a reflection of Pakistan’s level of dedication on Wednesday.
“The tone for me was set with one piece of fielding,” Moody said. “And it’s not the run-out. It’s before the run-out [of Devon Conway]. It was by Shadab [Khan], who was at mid-on, dived and stopped the ball from going for four.
“Kane Williamson played a beautiful on-drive, a straight on-drive, and he [Shadab] saved two runs. And that to me set the tone for the way they were going to operate as a team. You talk about body language but you need moments like that to lift the unit and that’s the standard that he basically said ‘this is the standard we are going to set today.”
New Zealand was limited to 38 for 2 on the powerplay as a result of Pakistan’s outstanding fielding in the circle. Shadab’s straight shot to run out Conway produced the second wicket. Pakistan eventually managed to restrict New Zealand to 152 for 8, winning with seven wickets and five balls remaining.
Kumble applauded Haris’ contribution to the match, which includes his 89 runs with a strike rate of 161.81 since joining the team to fill in for Fakhar Zaman.
“Looking at him [Haris], he looks like a free spirit,” Kumble said. “He’s not bothered about getting his eye in or what if the first ball he gets out. That’s what you want in a T20 game.”
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said that “We were put under pressure early, they bowled really well and it was thanks to an unbelievable knock from Daryl Mitchell that we got some momentum back.
“At halfway, we thought it was a competitive total because we knew the pitch was a used surface, it was tough.
“But it’s really disappointing to not make Pakistan work harder for those runs, they were absolutely outstanding today and credit has to go to them.”
In the meantime, Shoaib Akhtar, a Pakistani fast bowler, was also overjoyed with Pakistan’s victory.
Former South African allrounder Vernon Philander joined in congratulating Pakistan for making it into the final.
Wasim Akram added his congratulations to those on the side of Pakistani team.
Irfan Pathan, an Indian all-rounder, sent a message as well, praising the Pakistani team for overcoming a near-certain elimination from the competition to reach the final.